We could not be more excited to announce the launch of our ‘Encounter Grow Witness’ online community today.
The idea behind the launch of this tool is inspired by ‘Action Step 2’ in the Unleash the Gospel Pastoral Letter,
“Parish leadership should manifest a healthy teamwork that is oriented to equip parishioners with the necessary training, formation, planning and resources to initiate and realize meaningful endeavors to extend the Gospel to every corner of the parish territory.” [emphasis added]
The goal of this group is to foster collaboration and support among parish leaders — pastors, staff, and volunteers — so they can lead their communities to encounter Jesus anew, to grow daily as his disciple, and to give witness to the power of his mercy.
The idea of connecting parish leaders has been in the works for some time. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the need for this kind of community was amplified.
We started getting questions from pastors and parish staff like,
“What are other parishes doing about their bulletin?”
“How can I stay connected with our kids involved in Youth Ministry?”
“Should we be live-streaming on Facebook or YouTube?”
“What tools can I use to continue Religious Education?”
“Our parish doesn’t have a website or online giving — what can we do?”
“What support is the Archdiocese able to provide for parishes during the crisis?”
We knew the answer to some of these questions and realized a need to maximize the distribution of this information. Others, we weren’t very sure given the unprecedented circumstances — but we knew dozens of parish leaders like you were working hard to serve their communities during these challenging times.
WHY MIGHTY NETWORKS?
Other social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are focused on content distribution based on how an algorithm interprets your interests. Mighty Networks is a platform made for fostering authentic community and collaboration.
On this platform , you will be able to:
1. Connect with people passionate about serving in their parish, just like you
2. Share stories, experiences, and ideas
3. Get answers to questions you can’t just Google
4. Learn faster and apply best-practices to your ministry
5. Find inspiration from members with similar goals and who are working through similar challenges
WHY ENCOUNTER GROW WITNESS?
The Unleash the Gospel Pastoral Letter states, “‘Encounter / Grow / Witness is the threefold process for evangelization that has proven its worth in our local Church and will be our paradigm as we go forward in unleashing the Gospel in parish communities in the Archdiocese of Detroit.” ( Guidepost 9 )
It also outlines what “Encounter / Grow / Witness” looks like in our parishes:
• Parishes need to constantly foster opportunities for people to encounter Jesus. (9.1)
• Parishes need to help parishioners to grow continually in discipleship and deepen their relationship with Christ. (9.2)
• Parishes need to help every parishioner become a witness to God’s everlasting mercy and thereby unleash the Gospel to everyone they meet. (9.3)
Inspired by this, everything we do in the EGW online community will be oriented around supporting parish leaders implementing this model of evangelization as they unleash the Gospel in parish communities in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Yes, we are in a crisis right now. But the need for leadership in our parish communities is greater than ever. As Archbishop Vigneron shared in his 10 Guideposts for Christians in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic , it’s still about unleashing the Gospel!